Florida Senate - 2021 SB 2002 By Senator Taddeo 40-01850B-21 20212002__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Florida Commercial Rent 3 Stabilization Fund; creating s. 83.272, F.S.; creating 4 the Florida Commercial Rent Stabilization Fund as a 5 separate account within the Economic Development Trust 6 Fund; providing definitions; providing conditions for 7 relief from the fund; providing for payment, subject 8 to availability, from the fund; providing liability; 9 prohibiting a landlord from filing an action for 10 possession for a certain period of time; authorizing 11 the Department of Economic Opportunity to adopt rules; 12 providing an appropriation; requiring certain funds 13 remaining in the Florida Commercial Rent Stabilization 14 Fund to be transferred to the General Revenue Fund; 15 providing an effective date. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 19 Section 1. Section 83.272, Florida Statutes, is created to 20 read: 21 83.272 Florida Commercial Rent Stabilization Fund.—There is 22 created the Florida Commercial Rent Stabilization Fund as a 23 separate account in the Economic Development Trust Fund. 24 (1) For purposes of this section, the term: 25 (a) “Assistance period” means the period of time during 26 which Executive Order 20-52 is in effect, including any 27 amendments or extensions thereof, or through December 31, 2021, 28 whichever period is longer. 29 (b) “Department” means the Department of Economic 30 Opportunity. 31 (c) “Small business tenant” means a business that: 32 1. Makes less than $250,000 in annual net profits. 33 2. Has experienced a decline in revenues of 25 percent or 34 more because of COVID-19. 35 3. Has paid, or has agreed to pay, the tenant portion 36 amount in a given month towards the rent due. 37 4. Was in operation on or before February 15, 2020. 38 (d) “Tenant portion” means 25 percent of a tenant’s monthly 39 rent that has accrued during the assistance period. 40 (2) A small business tenant or a landlord may file an 41 application for relief under the Florida Commercial Rent 42 Stabilization Fund with the department. 43 (3) The department shall notify the landlord upon approval 44 of an application, whether filed by a small business tenant or a 45 landlord, and in order to receive payment from the department 46 the landlord must provide an affidavit to the department stating 47 that he or she: 48 (a) Will forgive 25 percent of the small business tenant’s 49 rent which has accrued during the assistance period and up to 50 the approval date of the application for relief. 51 (b) Will not collect any forgiven rent as a debt against 52 the small business tenant or personally against the owner of the 53 small business tenant. 54 (c) Will not apply a security deposit or any other funds 55 held on behalf of the small business tenant to cover the 56 forgiven rent. 57 (d) Will not initiate or file an action for possession for 58 the forgiven rent amount during the assistance period. 59 (e) Will dismiss with prejudice any action for possession 60 that the landlord commenced before being approved for relief 61 under the Florida Commercial Rent Stabilization Fund. 62 (4) Within 30 days after a landlord has been approved under 63 this section and submitted the affidavit agreed to under 64 subsection (3), and subject to the availability of funds, the 65 department shall pay the landlord the amount of the past rent 66 that has accrued during the assistance period and up to the 67 approval date of the application for relief, less the portion 68 forgiven by the landlord and the tenant portion that has been 69 paid. Payments made under this section constitute full and final 70 payment of the small business tenant’s rental obligations during 71 the assistance period and up to the approval date of the 72 application for relief. 73 (5) The affidavit agreed to under subsection (3) remains in 74 effect through the end of the assistance period, even if the 75 Florida Commercial Rent Stabilization Fund is depleted before 76 that time. 77 (6) A small business tenant may be liable to the landlord 78 for the amount calculated under subsection (4) if the Florida 79 Commercial Rent Stabilization Fund is depleted. 80 (7) A landlord may not initiate or file an action for 81 possession against a small business tenant relating to past due 82 rent until 90 days after the end of the assistance period. 83 (8) The department may adopt rules to implement and 84 administer this section. 85 Section 2. For the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the sum of 86 $543,000,000 in nonrecurring funds is appropriated from the 87 General Revenue Fund to the Florida Commercial Rent 88 Stabilization Fund created under s. 83.272, Florida Statutes. 89 Any funds remaining in the Florida Commercial Rent Stabilization 90 Fund 60 days after the assistance period, as defined in s. 91 83.272(1), Florida Statutes, ends shall be transferred to the 92 General Revenue Fund. 93 Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.